Stalin’s Two Famines

Robert Conquest is one of those rare gifted beings who can combine in one book the results of research, documented and footnoted, with the haute vulgarisation thereof. So The Harvest of Sorrow is a very good book “in both kinds”—and let no mere academic say which is more honorable. The …

Farmer Khrushchev

The great debate among Sovietologists is whether lust for power or divergence of policy is the main cause of the perennial quarreling in the Kremlin. Mr. Ploss’s implicit answer is “Both, equally”; and he proceeds to illustrate this with a study of Soviet agriculture, a source of contention in the …

Rationalizing the Russians

These two books concern the “resource allocation problem.” Granted that there ought to be economic activity at all, where precisely should we set the nation’s land, labor, and capital to work? Should we make these exports or those import-substitutes? In what proportions do people want round and square buttons? Should …

Carr on the Comintern

With the publication of these two books, one of the great historiographical enterprises of our day has been advanced. Mr. Carr has now given us three volumes on the 1917-23 period (one on domestic politics, one on economics, one on foreign affairs); the so-called Interregnum (1923-4) in one volume; and …

Prop Art

This is a very scrappy subject, and only a lucky unifying insight or un-scholarly sensationalism could make it otherwise. Incapable of the latter, Dr. Barghoorn has been denied the former. He has therefore not been able to impose unity on his subject. Most of the information one would demand of …

Numbers Game

A book that attacks habits ingrained in a whole profession, implicitly threatens several academic and civil service reputations, and names a few names is likely to arouse passions. The reviewer should then state his bias and interest. I have read this attack on the use of statistics with tranquility, indeed …